Summer fun in the River City is here! I can’t believe how fast the school year flew by, but now it’s time to beat the heat in Decatur. Whether you are looking for something to do with the kids during the week or family fun on the weekend, here are your best bets for the coolest summer yet!
My rising first grader helped me with these suggestions for summer fun in our amazing hometown. I mean, who better to ask? Almost each one of these options has been tried and tested by his truly. And now what you’ve all been waiting for – his best summer tip in the River City: “Drink lots of water. Or find a machine that has refreshing drinks.” #MouthsOfBabes
Summer Educational Fun
Does your child love to read and yearn to learn? No need to quiet the quest for education when school lets out for summer. Enjoy these daily educational options for kids of all ages.
Decatur Youth Services/Decatur Public Library
504 Cherry Street NE | 256-353-2993
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 10am to 7pm; Friday-Saturday, 10am to 5pm; Closed on Sunday
Decatur Youth Services at the Decatur Public Library has a jam-packed calendar, with something to do almost every day of the week and some weekends through the months of June and July. Activities are suitable for babies through high school and are free to anyone in the community.
Cook Museum of Natural Science
133 4th Avenue NE | 256-351-4505
Hours: (Opening June 7th) Monday-Thursday, 9am to 6pm; Friday, 9am to 7pm; Saturday, 9am to 8pm; Sunday, 12pm to 6pm
It will truly be worth the wait since Cook’s moved out of its old location a few blocks off 6th Avenue and is reopening in its fantastic, new, state-of-art location in the heart of downtown. The multi-million dollar Cooks Museum will feature live and hands-on exhibits, as well as educational installations, an event space, and a tasty new eatery for families to enjoy.
Wheeler Wildlife Refuge
3121 Visitors Center Road | 256-350-6639
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 9am to 4pm (closed on all Federal holidays)
Right in our backyard is a federally funded gem, boasting hiking and walking trails, birding events, environmental education, fishing, and so much more. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking. Don’t forget to stop in for your nature fix this summer!
Attention All Athletes!
Each year, our two local high schools, Austin High School (AHS) and Decatur High School (DHS), host some of the best sports camps in the area. From ages five and up, send your aspiring athlete to train with the best coaches and players in Decatur.
Please note that not all camp information includes a point of contact. Many of these camps encourage students to show up and register on the first day of camp. Be prepared to provide proof of health insurance for each camper and to sign a waiver of liability upon registering your child. Austin High school is located at 3004 Modaus Road SW, and Decatur High School is located at 910 Somerville Road SE; however, many of the DHS athletic facilities are housed across the street at the new Decatur Middle School campus, located at 1011 Prospect Drive SE.
AHS Volleyball Camp for Girls
Date: Tuesday-Thursday, May 28-30, from 9am to Noon
Location: New AHS gym
Ages: Kindergarten to 6th grade (Middle School teams encouraged to attend.)
Cost: $75 per camper (Includes t-shirt. Discounts available for multiple campers and teams.)
What to Wear/Bring: T-shirt, shorts, gym shoes, and water bottle.
DHS Youth Baseball Camp
Date: Monday-Tuesday, June 3-4, from 9am to 12:30pm
Location: DHS baseball field
Cost: $70 (Includes t-shirt and refreshments.)
What to Wear/Bring: Hat, glove, bat, and cleats or athletic shoes.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 256-345-3437
AHS Youth Baseball Camp
Date: Monday-Tuesday, June 24-25, from 9am to Noon
Location: New AHS baseball field
Ages: 5 years old to incoming 6th graders
Cost: $75 (Sign up and pay on the first day of camp.)
What to Wear/Bring: Cleats/athletic shoes, glove and hat. Bat suggested but not required.
DHS Red Raider Football Camp
Date/Time: Tuesday, June 25th from 5pm to 7pm and Wednesday, June 26th from 9am to 11:30am
Location: DHS Field House/Ogle Stadium
Ages: Rising 2nd through 8th grades
Cost: $60 (Includes t-shirt.)
What to Wear/Bring: Gym shoes, shorts and t-shirt. Bring your cleats. Drinks provided by Pepsi of Decatur.
DHS Basketball Camp for Boys and Girls
Date: Monday-Friday, July 8-12, from 8am to Noon
Location: DHS gym
Ages: Rising 1st – 9th grades
Cost: $75 for one camper, $60 for each additional camper (Includes new DHS basketball and t-shirt.
What to Wear/Bring: Basketball clothes and shoes, plus a basketball if you have one.
Contact: 256-566-6577 or 931-242-2022
DHS Volleyball Camp for Girls
Date: Tuesday-Thursday, July 9th-11th from 5pm to 7pm
Location: DHS gym
Ages: Rising 3rd through 6th grades
Cost: $40 (Includes t-shirt.)
What to Wear/Bring: Gym clothes and shoes.
Contact: Stacey.email@example.com or 256-565-4213
AHS Basketball Camp for Boys and Girls
Date: Monday-Friday, July 22-25 from 8:30am to Noon
Location: AHS gym
Age: Kindergarten through 6th grade
Cost: $75 for one camper, $60 per camper for two or more campers
What to Wear/Bring: Gym shoes, shorts, and t-shirt. Bring your own basketball.
Contact: Jake.firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
DHS Soccer Camp for Boys and Girls
Date: Monday-Tuesday, July 29-30, from 9am to 11am
Location: Ogle Stadium
Cost: $40 (Register at 9am on July 29 at camp. Includes two days and a t-shirt)
What to Wear/Bring: Soccer clothes and cleats/athletic shoes
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or Robert.email@example.com
For the Aspiring Artist
School of Fine Arts (SOFA) at First Baptist Church
123 Church Street NE | 256-353-7399
Whether your little one is into dance or drama, piano or guitar, there’s something for all ages, babies through high school, at the School of Fine Arts this summer. There are daily options and week-long options so you’re sure to find something that fits your schedule.
Princess Theatre Center for the Performing Arts
112 Second Avenue NE, Decatur | 256-350-1745
Join the area’s most iconic historic theatre for camps for all ages. Rising 1st through 5th graders can attend the Kids Theatre Camp, June 17 through 28. Rising 6th through 12th graders can attend the Teen Theatre Camp from July 8 through 19. Cost for both student camps is $400 and $350 respectively and includes two weeks of all day camp at the Princess Theatre, culminating in a stage performance. There’s even something for adults and college students at the beginning of June in the form of a professional workshop.
Date: Monday-Friday, July 15-19, from 8am to 5pm
Location: Carnegie Visual Arts Center, 207 Church Street NE
Age: Rising 1st graders (who are 6-years old by camp date) through 6th grade
Cost: $160 for members, $190 for non-members (lunch and snacks included)
More Info | Contact: 356-341-0562
Campers will enjoy a hands-on experience in the arts, music, drama, yoga, and science, as they create “art” with their hand, mind, and body.
I’m a full-time working mama who lives for the weekend with my mini-me squad. These are our three best bets for a wonderful weekend filled with family fun in the River City!
Second Avenue Downtown from 5pm to 9pm
Cost: Free | More Info | Facebook Page
On the third Friday of each month, the Decatur Downtown Redevelopment Authority closes Second Avenue to vehicle traffic and opens it up for family fun! Restaurants stay open late, shops offer special discounts, and the street is lined with performers, artisans, vintage cars, and more!
Morgan County Farmer’s Market
211 First Avenue SE, Decatur | 256-476-5595
Your one stop shop for the most amazing local produce and classic jams, spread, and breads. You may even catch a local meat source here from time to time! My kids love going to pick out the ingredients for a farm-to-table dinner at our house. Special events in the summer include Corn Day, Tomato Sandwich Day, and Watermelon Day.
Point Mallard Water Park
2901 Point Mallard Drive | 256-341-4900
Cost: $15-$20 depending on age or status, 4 years old and under are free
The “Home of America’s First Wave Pool” does not disappoint when it comes to water fun! Splash around in the wave pool or Olympic-sized swimming pool complete with diving boards and platforms, water slides, and a kids’ area. Don’t forget to check the calendar for half-price discount days!
Wishing you a safe and fun summer filled with joy and laughter!
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Andi Stewart is a Decatur-native, who spent over a decade living in Miami. She finally returned home, married a boy she’s known since childhood, and loves raising her family in the hometown she adores. She has two children, a son and a daughter. She’s a professional Environmental Engineer who balances a full-time career with motherhood. She’s run more marathons than she can count (mostly because she really enjoys eating) and she loves her daily barre class and traveling. She is passionate about her River City community and when she’s not volunteering, she’s enjoying all her city has to offer.